Monday, July 8, 2013

There are bad days ... and there are BAD days

Many thanks to regular readers Matt A. and John U. for bringing these articles forward (oddly coincidentally) on the same day.

First is a local (to me) referee assault.

Alleged attack on referee lands soccer player in court

LYNN — A judge released but ordered an East Boston man to stay away from his soccer league after police said the man and his two brothers attacked a referee after he issued a red card.

“I think he really enjoys the league, but understands,” court-appointed defense attorney Daniel Werner said when the judge issued her ruling. ...

See the whole story here, courtesy of and here, with a video interview with the referee from WHDH.

Kicking Back Comments: Foremost, Kicking Back wishes Mr. Garcia a speedy recovery. Cowardly assault on the referee aside, I applaud the trial courts decision here. I agree it is unusual to set a cash bail for such an event, even one as heinous as putting a referee in the hospital for a couple of days for a mass confrontation  but I suspect the judge, and both attorneys knew that (a) the suspects would deny everything, and (b) there is little chance of actually getting them back in court.

I also applaud the judge for recognizing the role the referee was acting in for the match. Check out the article for the particular quote.

So where are we now?

We have a referee who will never, on his own admission, referee again, with a broken facial bone, players who have allegedly committed assault and battery on a referee, likely never to show up in court, and a league that should take and face, some significantly stern action.

What can US Soccer do? How about Mass Soccer?

Likely nothing, as on a cursory look, the U.S. Latin Soccer League is not affiliated with either.
Take a look here for the affiliated adult soccer leagues in MA.

A word to the wise, unless the league is affiliated, there are few remedies outside those at law that can be brought to the bad actors. Also, it is far more difficult to assure compliance to common sense safety rules (e.g. having a detail officer at every match) and compel a league to take such action. Further, while US Soccer has an insurance policy that would cover (I am guessing) some of the damages that have occurred here for the referee, it would not apply, even if the referee was a registered US Soccer referee, as (and again I am assuming based on info to date), the league is NOT an affiliated US Soccer league.


Here is where there "rubber meets the road" for these referees however, and they should group together and take the issue to the league, and refuse to work another match until life suspensions are handed down to each player involved, and the team is tossed from the league from the rest of the season. Or maybe a petition to the Lynn board of parks to show what this league has been up to and pull their current field permit?

Just a thought ...

Now as a second thought, MA Soccer and US Soccer should be at least "made aware" of this stuff, by what mechanism I have no idea, as should USLSL seek membership in the future, they might want to be aware of what history it carries.

But, with every ying, there is a yang, and as the title of this blog entry implies, there was a referee who had an even worst day.

As gruesome as it is, please check out Brazil soccer referee killed during match; his head displayed on stake midfield from Fox News. 

Fox does draw a poor comparison at the end of the article however, somehow thinking (other than causing death) that the stoning, quartering, and beheading or a referee, is in the same realm as the shooting death (~100 bullets were found in Mr. Escobar I believe) of a player who scored an own goal ... and as speculation has it, was killed by gamblers for not making the point spread.

Somehow I'm just not seeing the two as similar.

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